Bloods’ finals hopes remain alive

Melissa Burt netted 47 goals as Terang Mortlake accounted for Portland.

TERANG Mortlake’s open netball side recorded a much needed percentage boosting win over Portland last Saturday.

The Bloods downed the Tigers 71-21 at D.C. Farran Oval to keep the door ajar on a Hampden league netball finals berth.

Coach Lisa Arundell was thrilled with her side’s display on the back of lesser efforts against Hamilton Kangaroos and South Warrnambool.

“Our last two games we hadn’t played well so not only is it a percentage booster, it’s also a morale booster for the girls,” she said.

“Coming off the back of those two games it was a terrific performance heading into two big games.

“We had Jess Davis out with injury, so the line-up changed, Melissa Burt went into goals and she did a fabulous job.

“I think she shot 47 goals which was a fabulous job because she hasn’t played much goals this year but overall I was really happy with the performance.”

The Bloods’ victory kept them four points adrift of Camperdown but percentage ahead with two rounds to play for the season.

But it may not be enough for Arundell and her side, whose fate could be determined in this weekend’s matches.

Camperdown are set to face the ninth-ranked Tigers, with a win assuring them of a finals berth, while the Bloods face top team Cobden.

The Bloods would need to defeat the Bombers and have the Tigers upset the Magpies, with Terang Mortlake then needing to defeat Koroit the following week and have Cobden beat Camperdown.

Arundell conceded her side would be dictated to by the Magpies’ results, but said the Bloods would “aim to go out and play our best netball” over the next fortnight.

“We’d like to win these games but we know it’s going to be tough and we know we are at the mercy of other sides,” she said.

“We played really well last time against Cobden, I think we led at three quarter time or were thereabouts but when we played Koroit, we didn’t play so well.

“But there will be a big expectation for my girls that they put in a better performance against them (Koroit) this time.”

Arundell said the Bloods would run the gauntlet to “a certain respect” in their last two games to give themselves every chance of a post-season berth.

However she said her side still needed to play controlled netball and restrict their opposition, but added her side would take plenty of belief out of matching the Bombers in round eight.

“We’ve got nothing to lose,” she said.

“As it is, yes our aim is to play finals but if we don’t then we can still be proud of our year.

“But we still need to go out play controlled netball and to our strengths and we still have to try and limit their damaging players.

“There’s no reason why we can’t win (this weekend) and I’ll be backing the girls in to do that, especially since we knew we took it up to Cobden last time.”

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